Oakland's red light cameras might not be dark for very long.

Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa said this week that the police department is hoping to revive its red light camera program and would soon be seeking proposals from camera companies.

The department abruptly turned off the cameras mounted at 11 intersections last month after hitting a cap on payments to the vendor Redflex Holdings, Figueroa said.

Police had sought a contract extension two years ago, but dropped the request after facing opposition during a meeting of the City Council's Public Safety Committee. Instead, the department continued the contract month-to-month with Redflex until hitting the spending cap in May.

The Oakland police department is hoping to revive its red light camera program.
The Oakland police department is hoping to revive its red light camera program. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group Archives)

Figueroa said that police opted against seeking an extension because a still unresolved accounting issue with the Alameda County courthouse had resulted in reduced ticket revenue and called into question whether the program was paying for itself.

Redflex also has had its share of issues. The company has been hit with 31 complaints throughout the state for violating laws requiring that it pay local workers prevailing wages, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations. Oakland police have been withholding payment to Redflex since January over a complaint filed in Oakland, in which the state is seeking payment of $244,347 in wages and penalties. It is too early to say whether the city will be on the hook for that money, said Peter Melton of Department of Industrial Relations.

Redflex spokeswoman Jody Ryan said the company had a "good faith dispute" with the state over the applicability of prevailing wage laws to Redflex's contracts.

Figueroa said the cameras had reduced collisions at the intersections where they are mounted, but the department last week was unable to provide supporting documentation.

Obama spokesman dons green and gold

Oakland got a little love from the White House this week when President Barack Obama's outgoing press secretary, Jay Carney, sported an A's cap during a media briefing that touched on Iraq, Syria and immigration reform.

Except the love wasn't really for Oakland.

"All right, I know this is confusing," Carney told the White House press corps as he opened the Thursday briefing, according to a transcript. "I am not an Oakland A's fan, but I am wearing this because last night the 12-U Bethesda-Chevy Chase Select baseball team completed an undefeated season by winning the championship. And I want to congratulate my son's team and all the players and the coach ... So here's to the BCC A's."

Two energy-saving programs in Fremont

City leaders have launched two programs aimed at helping residents conserve energy.

First, they started the Fremont Energy Challenge to encourage residents to sign up for a home energy analyzer, which offers energy-saving recommendations.

To join the free program, which runs through September, go online at homeenergyanalyzer.org. For each individual sign-up, a $5 donation will go to the Fremont libraries. For more information, call 510-891-6554 or 510-494-4451.

A second city program aims to simplify the process for residents to receive permission for installing photovoltaic solar energy systems.

The city's more time-consuming formal review process now can be avoided by submitting a permit application over the counter at the Fremont Development Services Center, where city construction permits are processed.

City leaders say they started this program to speed up approvals for installation. About 920 Fremont residences and 50 businesses are equipped with solar photovoltaic systems.

The Development Services Center is at 39550 Liberty St.

For more information, visit www.fremont.gov/solarpermit or call 510-494-4443.